War Shipping Administration Press Release, Maritime Day 1945
Military Leaders Praise Merchant Marine


Holt Maritime 62 PR 2277 (W)


Friday Afternoon Papers
May 18, 1945
Radio Release: 7 AM, EWT, Friday, May 18.
Cleared and Released
Through Facilities of the
Office of War Information


Maritime Day tributes from the leaders of American armed forces to the men of the Merchant Marine for delivering the goods to the battlefronts have been received, the War Shipping Administration announced today.

These include statements from General George C. Marshall, U. S. Army Chief Staff; Admiral E. J. King, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and Chief Naval Operations; General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander; Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas; and Lieutenant General Alexander A. Vandergrift, United States Marine Corps Commandant.

General Marshall commented on the Merchant Marine's participation in war:

"America's Merchant Marine has carried out its war mission with great distinction, and has demonstrated its ability to meet the challenge of redeploying our full power to the Pacific."

The job being done by the Merchant Marine was praised by Admiral King who said:

"The Armed Forces, with the help of the Merchant Marine, have pushed the fighting 5,000 miles west. Together, they'll go the rest of the way."

Devotion to duty by the men at sea was praised by General Eisenhower:

"The officers and men of the Merchant Marine, by their devotion to duty in the face of enemy action, as well as natural dangers of the sea, have brought us the tools to finish the job. Their contribution to final victory will be long remembered."

The role played by merchant mariners over the globe was described by Admiral Nimitz as follows:

"The United States Merchant Marine played an important part in the achievement victory in Europe, and it is destined to play an even more important role in helping to finish off the Japanese. To move great quantities of war materials principal sources of supply across 6,000 miles of ocean to battlefronts in the Far East is the formidable task now confronting our merchant fleet. We are confident it will be done quickly and efficiently in keeping with the high standards of accomplishment set by the Merchant Marine in every war in our history."

General Vandegrift pointed out how the Marine Corps has been aided in its invasions by the Merchant Marine in saying:

"The men and ships of the Merchant Marine have participated in every landing operation by the United States Marine Corps from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima - - and we know they will be at hand with supplies and equipment when American amphibious forces hit the beaches of Japan itself. On Maritime Day we of the Marine Corps salute the men of the merchant fleet."


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